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Dataset: Medicare Cost Report Files ()

Basic Information
Dataset Full Name Medicare Cost Report Files
Dataset Acronym

Medicare-certified institutional providers are required to submit an annual cost report to a Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC). The cost report contains provider information such as facility characteristics, utilization data, cost and charges by cost center (in total and for Medicare), Medicare settlement data, and financial statement data. 

The Medicare Cost Report Files are used in order to compute the cost-to-charge ratio and determine the ‘cost’ of providing services by different institutions. CMS maintains the cost report data in the Healthcare Provider Cost Reporting Information System (HCRIS). HCRIS includes cost report data subsystems for the following institution provider types:

  • Hospital
  • Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF)
  • Home Health Agency (HHA)
  • Renal Dialysis Facility 
  • Health Clinic
  • Hospice
  • Federally Qualified Health Clinic (FQHC)
  • Rural Health Center (RHC)
  • Community Mental Health Center (CMHC) 

The data consists of every data element included in the HCRIS extract created for CMS by the provider's Administrative Contractor.

Key Terms Cost, Cost-to-Charge Ratio, Cost Effectiveness Analysis
Study Design Longitudinal
Data Type(s) Administrative
Sponsoring Agency/Entity

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS):

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)

Health Conditions/Disability Measures
Health Condition(s) NA
Disability Measures NA
Measures/Outcomes of Interest
Topics Medicare costs, Hospitals, Health Clinics, Skilled nursing facilities, Hospices, Renal dialysis facilities, Home health agencies
Sample Population

Medicare-certified institutional providers including:

Hospitals, Health Clinics, Skilled nursing facilities, Hospices, Renal dialysis facilities, Home health agencies, Federally Qualified Health Clinics (FQHC), Rural Health Centers (RHC), Community Mental Health Centers

Sample Size/Notes Varies by facility type and year
Unit of Observation Hospital & Provider
Continent(s) North America

United States

Geographic Coverage National
Geographic Specificity Provider Code
Special Population(s)


Data Collection
Data Collection Mode Administrative
Years Collected
  • Hospitals and Health Care Complexes 1996 - present
  • Health Clinics 2009-present
  • Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF) 1995- present
  • Hospices 1999-present
  • Renal Dialysis Facilities: 1994-present
  • Home Health Agencies (HHA): 1994-present
  • Community Mental Health Centers 2010-present
  • Federally Qualified Health Clinics (FQHC)2014-present
  • Rural Health Centers (RHC) 2018-present
  • Community Mental Health Centers 2018-present
Data Collection Frequency Updated quarterly
Strengths and Limitations
Strengths Useful for using 'cost' as an outcome of interest.
Limitations Limited utility as a stand-alone data set.
Data Details
Primary Website


Data Access

Access by fiscal year:


Data Access Requirements Public Use Dataset
Summary Tables/Reports

Reports on each data set are available on each individual cost report's web page.

Data Components

The cost report data is in 3 files (4 for Hospital, SNF and HHA) that are comma delimited.

  • *_Rpt file: contains cost report identification information such as the provider number, the fiscal year beginning and ending date, the status of the cost report (settled, as submitted, reopened), the type of ownership of the hospital, etc.
  • *_Rpt_Nmrc file: contains all numeric data reported on a cost report such as costs, charges, ratios, number of beds, etc.
  • *_Rpt_Alphnmrc file: contains all alpha data reported on a cost report such as hospital name, address, dates, and questions that require a ‘yes’ response.
  • *_Rollup file: contains fields from the cost center coded worksheets that have been calculated. See file named Rollup_Description.doc.


Selected Papers
Other Papers

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The Rehabilitation Research Cross-dataset Variable Catalog has been developed through the Center for Large Data Research & Data Sharing in Rehabilitation (CLDR). The Center for Large Data Research and Data Sharing in Rehabilitation involves a consortium of investigators from the University of Texas Medical Branch, Cornell University's Yang Tan Institute (YTI), and the University of Michigan. The CLDR is funded by NIH - National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, through the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research, the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering. (P2CHD065702).

Other CLDR supported resources and collaborative opportunities:

Acknowledgements: This tool was developed through the efforts of William Erickson and Arun Karpur, and web designers Jason Criss and Jeff Trondsen at Cornell University. Many thanks to graduate students Kyoung Jo Oh and Yeong Joon Yoon who developed much of the content used in this tool.

For questions or comments please contact disabilitystatistics@cornell.edu